The Madhya Pradesh High Court granted a stay on the suspension of a Sanskrit lecturer of Vikram University, Ujjain, who, prior to the Lok Sabha election results, had predicted at least 300 seats for the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and over 300 for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Justice Vivek Rusia stayed the operation of the suspension order and issued notices to the higher education department, the registrar of Vikram University, the chief electoral officer, MP, and Ujjain district returning officer.
Counsel for the accused, advocate Kuldeep Pathak had challenged the suspension before the Indore bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.
On April 29, during the first phase of polling in Madhya Pradesh, Rajeshwar Shastri Musalgaonkar had posted “BJP 300 ke paas and NDA 300 ke paar (BJP near 300 and NDA more than 300 seats)” on his Facebook page. Terming it a violation of the model code of conduct, a Congress worker lodged a complaint against the professor, alleging that the lecturer’s prediction was meant to influence polling.
The head of Sanskrit-Ved-Jyotirvigyan department, Musalgaonkar claimed he deleted the post immediately and that he did not support any particular party. He said the prediction was in response to a query from a student who wanted to know which party was likely to win.
The higher education department of the state government recommended disciplinary action against the 55-year-old lecturer under the MP Universities Act, 1973. On May 7, the lecturer was placed under suspension and attached to another department.